Opener Chase Bryant
set the tone for country star Brad Paisley
's Feb. 2 concert at Taco Bell Arena when he called on the veterans in the audience to stand for a round of applause. Men and women in every level of the stands rose to their feet, and soon the whole crowed joined them for a standing ovation.
Dustin Lynch went patriotic for his rendition of "My House."
Before breaking into a cover of John Mellencamp's "Pink Houses,"
Bryant admonished the audience, saying that if anyone in attendance didn't support the troops, "I'll come up there and walk your happy ass out one of these exits." Dustin Lynch
, who also opened for Paisley following Bryant and Lindsay Ell
, continued the patriotic theme when he called a man dressed entirely in the stars and stripes and waving a large flag to the stage for a countrified cover of "My House" by Flo Rida
When it was Paisley's turn at the mic he outdid the rest, bringing a group of uniformed soldiers onstage during his performance of "Love and War"
for a shoutout that had the whole arena stamping its feet, thrusting fists into the air and chanting "U-S-A!" so loudly that the singer had to struggle to be heard.
Brad Paisley kneels to play guitar in front of a line of uniformed soldiers.
"We'd like to buy you a beer," Paisley said, addressing the troops, who were standing at attention, "And I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but at ease soldiers!"
The group took Paisley's advice to heart. At an on-stage bar, a bartender handed out full red solo cups, and soon the soldiers were swaying and tapping their feet to the time of "American Saturday Night,"
which Paisley and Bryant performed as a guitar riff-heavy duet.
Country icon Johnny Cash
once said, "When I think about country music, I think about America"—and if he'd been at Taco Bell Arena Saturday night, he'd likely have tipped his hat to Paisley and his crew.